My father was born in Holland in 1946 and immigrated to Canada in 1956. I was born in Canada in 1968 but would like to apply for a Dutch Passport as I spend a lot of time working in Europe. Does anyone know if this is possible? My father never had his Dutch Passport but my Aunt (his sister) has hers.

1 Answer 1


If your father was (still) a Dutch citizen when you were born, then you were a Dutch citizen when you were born, but you will have since lost your Dutch citizenship. If this is the case, as a former Dutch citizen, you would be eligible to use a shortened naturalization process known as the "Option Procedure" to regain your Dutch citizenship. However, in your case this would first require legally residing in the Netherlands for one year on a non-temporary basis. One benefit of this route is that it does not require giving up your Canadian citizenship.

If your father was not Dutch when you were born, then you are stuck with the traditional naturalization routes to gain Dutch citizenship. The traditional routes require several years' residence in the Netherlands, demonstrating you are integrated, and giving up your current citizenship when you naturalize. You can also be eligible for the Option Procedure if you are married to a Dutch person for at least 3 years.

Your father would have lost his citizenship before you were born, for example, if he naturalized as a Canadian or was included in his parents' naturalization as Canadians.

To clarify the part about you having since lost your Dutch citizenship if your father was still Dutch when you were born: Dutch citizenship "expires" after 10 years outside the Netherlands after reaching the age of majority if one does not take specific action to retain it. In the 1980s, the age of majority changed from 21 to 18 and there was at least one reset to the 10 year period for some cases. However, you are old enough to have comfortably passed all such 10 year periods.

  • The 1985 10-year rule applied to dual citizens who are born in the country of their other citizenship and lived there for at least ten years. There was no way to prevent loss of Dutch nationality under this rule aside from moving outside the country of citizenship. But if OP did live outside Canada for any significant period between 1986 and 1996, it's quite possible that he or she retained Dutch nationality until the change in 2003 (April 1). After that point it's possible (though unlikely) that the 10-year period could have been reset by a year's residence in the EU or another exception.
    – phoog
    Jan 22, 2019 at 4:21
  • Also, if the father had naturalized as Canadian independently of his parents before his 21st birthday, he would have retained his Dutch nationality. This is what happened to my father: he naturalized in the US at 19, and my grandfather naturalized after my father's 21st birthday.
    – phoog
    Jan 22, 2019 at 4:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.